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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Tango Jointz

By Justin Hopper
Published April 27, 2007

Palermo Nuevo
Escondida Music

In 2003, as flamenco, tango, and bossa nova’s seepage into electronic music and nu-jazz was starting to climax and wane, a group of producers, including 4Hero and Koop, contributed tracks to Astor Piazzolla Remixed. The results were themselves mixed, with the Argentine master’s tangos scarred on some tracks, and reborn on others. Neither tango nor electronica fans were overjoyed. It seems producer Claus Zundel, the man behind such moody, Enigma-style fusion projects as B-Tribe and the classical-meets-beats effort Classical Spirit, was the Piazzolla project’s biggest fan. Tango Jointz’ disc Palermo Nuevo follows Zundel’s M.O. of taking identifiable sounds (classical, flamenco) and jamming those pegs into the lounge-electronica hole. And sometimes, like on the truly sensual “Tango D’Amor,” the sound works–“Tu Sentimiento,” with its rollicking, seedy piano and Portishead-style downtempo beats, shows that the combination can be very rewarding. But too much of Palermo strives for “shady” only to reach “ho-hum.”